Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Terry's Beer Reviews

Note:- most of these websites insist on you keying in your age – there’s plenty of “Prohibitionists” around here still.

Very nice Italian beer.  Now that both Nastro Azzura and Moretti are owned by major multinational breweries(Peroni by SABMiller, and Moretti by Heineken) Castello is a great successor.  Heineken sold the Moretti plant to Castello.  Nastro is still a great beer, but I think Heineken has rooted Moretti.

Haywards 5000 owned by SABMiller
Very very nice.  Would drink this regularly if available.

Dos Equis Lager  (warned off Tecate by the waiter.)  Circus Circus Las Vegas Nevada

Despite the sneers from VB & EB drinking bogans, this is still one of the world’s great beers.
Fallback in all restaurants that have limited choice e.g. Coors, Coors Light, Bud, Bud Light.
While on the subject of the world’s great beers, I was pleased to find Coopers Sparkling Ale in the Whole Food Market in Las Vegas, Nevada so I bought a six for Ron.

Sam Adams draft – at Chilis

Oak Creek Brewery 23/April 2011 to 25th April 2011
Got 5 different ones
A-1 Pilsner – excellent.  Not much fizz.  Strong rich caramel.  Only 4.2% alcohol.  Definite keeper.
Amber Ale. 5.0%.  Very nice, clean crisp for an ale.
Nut Brown Ale  5.5%.  Thick & chewy

Landshark Lager
Jimmy Buffett’s lager from Florida.  Nice, crisp. 4.7% (also in a 4.0%, which is getting dangerously close to “light”.)
It’s an Anheuser-Busch product but brewed for Margaritaville in Jacksonville.
I’m biased on this, having been a Parrothead for about 35 years.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
From California.  Decent head, caramel taste 5.6%

San Pellegrino Limonata and Aranciata.
Not beers but refreshing lemon and orange drinks from one of the masters of sparkling water.  Actually been owned by Nestles since about 1997.

“San Pellegrino mineral water has been produced for over 600 years.[2] In 1395, the town borders of San Pellegrino were drawn, marking the start of its water industry. Leonardo da Vinci visited the town in 1509 to sample and examine the town's "miraculous" water, later writing a treatise on the subject.[2] Analysis shows that the water is strikingly similar to the samples taken in 1782, the first year such analysis took place.
The earliest existing records show that 35,343 bottles were produced (5,562 of which were exported) in 1899. Nine years later, San Pellegrino was exported to the main European cities, as well as Cairo, Tangiers, Shanghai, Calcutta, Sydney, Brazil, Peru and the United States.”  (Wikipedia)

Barking Frog Grille, Sedona Arizona.

Fat Tire Amber Ale.  Good without being memorably great. 5.2%.  My notes say “Sour caramel taste. Very nice.  No head or bubbles, even for an ale.  Certainly true Belgian style.

Carol had a Blue Moon which she liked but I found a bit fruity (Orange-ish?)  Would be good on a hot day after the beach.  It actually came with an orange slice and that seems to be their website’s suggestion.

Patron Reposado Tequila
I asked for a shot straight after dinner.  What came out was about 3 Australian shots in a salt rimmed glass with a half-lime slice.  Very, very smooth and very potent.  Nice finish to dinner.
Some of this range can cost a lot of money but this is about mid-range – about $8 in the US, which is pricey- probably about $25 in Oz.

Here’s a nice find:
Most of the “whole-food” or “good earth” style supermarkets have a small restaurant section where you can order stuff from the deli or select from bains-marie they have and sit and eat it.  We’ve been trying all the different soups you can get – for about $4 a large bowl, you can get some great quick lunches. It's one of the few ways to avoid massive over-ordering of food.

New Frontiers Natural Market, Sedona Arizona – Turkey Chili soup with organic sesame crackers $3.99 a bowl.  Carol had Spinach & Potato – very good.
Las Vegas Whole Food Market.  Beef and Vegetable soup then on a return visit, plain Vegetable soup.  Very filling, very tasty.
We tried the same trick in a Safeway supermarket but the soup was very ordinary indeed.

Corn chowder for lunch at the Secret Garden in Tlaquepaque Village, Sedona
I agree with the third commentator – nice but I did expect some close-to-the-border heat in it.  Their specialty soup is “day-old soup” – they make it up the day before and let it blend.  All gone by the time I asked for some (12 midday!)  I think people come and have it for breakfast.

The Cracker Barrel chain runs good soups daily also, again for 4 or 5 bucks a large bowl.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., is a chain of "Old Country Stores," each combining a retail store and a restaurant. As of September 2009, the company, founded in 1969 and based in Lebanon, Tennessee, was operating 591 full-service locations located in 41 states in the United States.[1] In 2009, Cracker Barrel was ranked as the top "family dining" chain for the 19th consecutive year in Restaurants & Institutions magazine "Choice in Chains" annual consumer survey.[2] (Wikipedia)

Coffee is genuine garbage in most places – water with something nasty in it.  I think I’ve had better instant sometime years ago.  We have found two places that served proper stuff – a café/bakery that specializes in wedding cakes in Sedona (run by a Cajun guy I think) that had superb French pastries that he made as well and a place down in Oak Creek Village.


  1. Now that's what I like to see, someone prepared to do the hard yards in the name of research. There must be some way to make this a tax deduction.
    Coors, Coors Light, Bud, Bud Light what a selection!! thank goodness they have a different aproach to booze than they do coffee.

  2. Great to see young Terrence sampling all that is amber and frothy (or not so frothy as the case might be). The corn chowder interests me but I can't quite get a mental picture of it - is it a blended brew (like a pumpkin soup), or chunky as in you can see all the kernels languishing amidst the liquid?